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Top Activities in New Orleans for Kids

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Many tourists don't think of New Orleans as a place to bring the children, but there are plenty of unique family adventures waiting here in New Orleans -- just ask any of the thousands of New Orleans kids who live here year-round. Remember, Bourbon Street is only one street in the city. There are many more that lead to family fun. Read on to find the top picks tried and loved by generations of New Orleans kids.

1. The Audubon Insectarium

Bugs, Bugs, and more Bugs at the Audubon Insectarium. Which kid doesn't love bugs!

2. The Audubon Zoo

The Audubon Zoo is a world-class facility located in Audubon Park, and is easily accessible by streetcar, bus or boat. Its Louisiana Swamp Exhibit is a popular place with locals, who flock to see alligators and nutrias up close. Watch for the Loup Garou (say "loo garoo"), a legendary Cajun swamp monster.

3. The Cool Zoo Water Park

This animal-themed water park is a big hit with kids and parents. Located in the Audubon Zoo, the Cool Zoo has three areas, with one for toddlers and younger kids. There are water slides, one is a large alligator. There is also a giant spider monkey that dumps water, water-spitting snakes, jumping water spouts and much more. There's also shaded benchs for Mom and Dad.

4. The Aquarium of the Americas

The Aquarium of the Americas, located at the foot of Canal Street on the Mississippi River, is among the five top aquariums in the nation. It showcases the aquatic life of the Americas. Don't miss the 400,000 gallon Gulf of Mexico tank.

5. The Louisiana Children's Museum

The Louisiana Children's Museum is in the Arts District on Julia Street, and is a favorite of the children of all ages. Here, the little ones can shop in a pint-size grocery store or serve you lunch in the cafe. Older children can pilot a life-size tugboat on the Mighty Mississippi.

6. Preservation Hall

Preservation Hall, dedicated to the preservation of New Orleans Jazz has a family-friendly policy of no drinking or smoking and all ages are invited.

7. City Park

Easily accessible by streetcar from downtown, New Orleans City Park is a 1500-acre park that offers boating, fishing, and nature trails. Two miniature trains tour the perimeter of the park. Take younger children to Storyland, a magical play area featuring 26 nursery rhyme exhibits. You'll also find an amusement park featuring a fully restored antique wooden carousel, one of only 100 left in the country. (Sons and daughters of New Orleans of every age call carousels the "Flying Horses.")

Take a photo tour of City Park

Take a photo tour of Storyland

8. River Boat Rides

New Orleans sits on the banks of the Mississippi River. There are several river boats that dock near the foot of Canal Street that provide a great experience for families. The Natchez is a real steamboat that has Jazz diner cruses. The Creole Queen is a beautiful Paddlewheeler. Both riverboats offer daytime or night cruises, with or without a meal. All ages are welcome.

9. An Outdoor Kid-Friendly Museum

Imagine enjoying world-class art with your children and not worrying about whether they will touch anything. This beautiful part of New Orleans City Park may change your children's view of museums. It's a beautiful setting and accessible art is inviting, not intimidating to kids.

10. National World War II Museum

The National World War II Museum is filled with planes, boats and items from World War II Museum, along with special programs, make this museum something kids will love.

Another museum that kids actually like is the Pharmacy Museum

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